Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The One Where Mackenzie Says No to France...

So far we've survived the morning with no drama or attitude.  Yay!!!  Thank you God!!!

We finished reading The Family Under the Bridge this morning.  She wouldn't let me stop reading until we were done.  We both really enjoyed it.

Our next read aloud is going to be Twenty and Ten.  I'm excited about reading it, although I hear it's a tear jerker.  But given the topic, how could it not be.

It's also been made into a movie, which we've ordered from netflix.  We'll watch it after we read the book.  It stars "Hot Lips Hulahan" from M.A.S.H. as a nun. LOL  That should be interesting.

This week in math we've been working on solving for unknowns.  She's really into it.  I didn't think she'd catch on quickly but, once again, she surprised me. 

We are studying clothing from different historical periods in history.  Specifically from reading Living Long Ago.  Today we were learning about French court fashions.  I can't believe how much I've learned from this book.  And I have a history minor. (confirms my living books over text books views though LOL)

Anyway, Mackenzie was horrified by the French and they're lack of hygiene back then.  We learned how they bathed in frequently. (Interesting fact, King Louis XIV only bathed about once a year.)  Then we read how the ladies wore the "big hair" and used wires and fake hair and didn't touch it for weeks at a time. And how this lead to them having lice and fleas in their hair.

After we finished, I asked Mackenzie what she thought.  "I think I don't want to visit France because it's probably stinky."   Why?  "Because the king stinks and Armand didn't take but one bath either. Everybody's dirty." 

Armand was a character in The Family Under the Bridge.  It takes place in Paris. ROFL  I explained that you can't judge an entire country by one character in a book but at least I know she's listening and making connections.  And then we looked at some photos of France and she's ready to hop on a plane for a visit. lol

The One With a Tantrum

The last couple of days have been crazy here.  Crazy in the form of Mackenzie acting out.

Monday I took her to the "mall" for lunch and to go to the little amusement park.  Should have been a good time.  A nice treat.  Well, when she couldn't get ice cream, she lost it.  She got the "attitude" that makes me insane.  Her tone of voice gets nasty.  I get angry and disappointed.  Sometimes she acts like she's entitled to the world.  So the rest of the afternoon was a bust.

That night she wets the bed (in the early am actually) so I clean her up and bring her into my bed.  Where she fails to fall back to sleep.  Doesn't bode well for the rest of the day.

She did alright for school but then she starts getting that attitude again. She's out in the livingroom, mumbling under her breath, because she didn't want to pick up something.  On and on she goes.  Getting more and more disrespectful.

So I ground her to her room.  No dance, no contact with anyone but me. I even skipped my bowling.  (I'm really bad so it was probably to my team's advantage. LOL)  She went up there around 11:30 am and stayed until after my last dance class at 6.  ( I fed her and let her out to use the bathroom.  Although she took the liberty of peeing on her bedroom floor at one point, thinking that would reduce her sentence.  Didn't work, but she did kill time giving herself a bath and cleaning the floor.)

When she came out, she was remorseful but aren't they always.  I'm hoping I made enough of an impact for her to watch her words and tone.

I'm sure some of her attitude has to do with dh being deployed but I swear there's something in the air that effects her this time of year.

Last year, around this time, I had the worst week of mothering in my life.  She was horribly out of control!  Screaming, yelling, hitting, spitting, saying "stupid."  I was waiting for her head to spin around "Exorcist style." Nothing I did (removing every single thing out her room, giving her vinager for a smart mouth for starters) worked.  I was in tears the whole week.  When we went to church at the end of that week, she came out a different child.  I have no idea what she talked about with her teacher but it was clear that God touched her. 

I still shudder when I think about that week.

Hopefully, we won't get to that point this year!    She seems to be in a much better mood today.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A tour of Guam

In case anyone is interested, I thought I'd share some of our exeriences on Guam with you.  I have billion more but this should do for now. LOL

Our first day on Guam.  We arrived at night so we had to wait til morning to look out and see what was out there.  The view from our hotel balcony was impressive.

Mackenzie's first time in the Phillipine Sea

Mackenzie at a local park during Guam Liberation Month

Enjoying one of the beaches on the base

One of Guam's Motto's: Guam, it rains a lot, even during dry season.

Thanksgiving in Guam

Christmas in the tropics


A rough life, no? 

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

If I could turn back time...

It's been a loooong day.  Started out okay, then Mackenzie started with her attitude and complaining.  I lost it and behaved like a monster, yelling and doing everything that I know is wrong when dealing with her. Definately a bad mommy moment!

I hate days like this.  I'm grateful for the correction I received from my Father (Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel. Proverbs 11: 17) and we ended the day on a positive note.

We ended the evening with a random tea party even though I was exhausted after teaching dance for 3 hours.  

On the bright side, it's Thursday evening and we're right on track for school.  Haven't fallen behind in anything so far.  Not even science!!!

And we got Wednesday evening off, AWANA was cancelled.  I was thrilled.  I like AWANA  but I have no week nights to myself so it was a real treat for me.  A friend invited us on an outing with his family but I declined.  I stayed home, put on my jammies, and did nothing.

Sheesh, you'd think that having the night off would've put me in a better mood for today. LOL

I guess I'll end this with something cute my daughter said today.  I love how little kids mess up words and pronounce things.  My dd wanted a snack and asked for a "CRANBERRY Cream Egg."  I get a thrill everytime she says that. LOL 

Another favorite saying, "ear muscles" for head phones. I have no idea where she came up with that one. DH tried to correct her once but I put a stop to that immediately.  LOL

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Fresh From the Memory Card (flash back)

Uploaded some pictures that have been on my camera for a while.  So here they are...

Here she is working on her My Father's Dragon book last month.

Our bean experiment.

We managed to get the beans to sprout (and grow leaves) quite nicely.  We planted 3 of them for the next part of the experiment and killed them all.  I guess that second part didn't work out so well. LOL

As I look as these photos, and past photos, I'm beginning to wonder if we ever get out of our pajamas for school.  Rarely it seems. LOL

Today, however, we were showered and dressed before school.  The air conditioner guys were coming over early.   

Creative Little Mack (flash back)

What have we been up to?

DH just deployed so we've been dealing with Mackenzie being sad.  Always fun as she has a flair for drama.  Trying to keep her busy.

Mackenzie finished a weeks worth of math in one sitting.  She really loves MUS.   So for the rest of the week we'll break out our Singapore books and work in them.

We started 3 new books; The Family Under the Bridge, Come Look With Me: Animals in Art, and Usborne's Living Long Ago.

She's really enjoying the Living Long Ago.  It has hands-on suggestions so we've been adding in some of those.  Yesterday we "wove cloth" out of construction paper.  She really liked that.

She's also been really creative this week.  She made the cutest things out of playdough.  I had to take a picture.

She said it was "lunch for you mommy." Can you tell what I "ate" ?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Peek at Our Week

Well we finished reading The Light at Tern Rock this week.

Great book.  A bit of a tear jerker at the end.  It was a great reminder on forgiveness and what's important in life.  And it's pretty short, only 5 (kind of longish) chapters. Mackenzie seemed to like it.  She asked some pretty good questions so I'm sure she was listening. LOL

I think we're reading The Family Under the Bridge next.  I've been dying to read that one.

Must have been the week for tear jerkers.  We were reading about Moses for Bible.  And we were both sad when we got to the story where he died.  Mackenzie doesn't seem to be as "attached" to Joshua. 

We read the first story in Five True Dog Stories.  That Dox was one smart puppy!  Still don't want a dog though.

For history/social studies, we studied the different continents.  Nothing in depth just a look at some maps.  I was quite surprised at how into that Mackenzie was.  She liked the maps so much that we finished a weeks worth of "lessons" in two days.

Same thing with math this week.  She was really into and finished a few days early.  She was mad that there weren't anymore pages.  She got over it by teaching me how to add by ten's.  LOL  She's says I'm pretty good now.  She was really cute as my "teacher."

We are behind on science this week, as always.   We'll finish that up today after church.  We're studying trees and it's kind of hard when living in a place that doesn't have much more than palm trees. 

Now when we study frogs, we'll be good to go.  Tons and tons of frogs roaming around here. One night, on a walk, we stopped counting them when we hit one hundred.  We only walked a couple of streets.

Don't pick them up though, at least not without gloves.  Got some kind of poisonous thing going on with their skin.  Probably wouldn't kill ya, but if it some how gets in your mouth you aren't going to be feeling very good.

We totally skipped spelling this week.  Man we were really slackers. LOL 

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Over Scheduled (flash back)

On Friday, school got waylaid because we had so many errands to do.  I can't even remember what we did. LOL  So we ended up having to play catch-up this weekend.

But it was a good week.  We finished 3 books, caught up on some science experiments, got all of our book work done.  Mackenzie's very excited to start some new books.  And one of them is really short, only 4 chapters, so we'll finish that this week too.

And today is Monday!  I love Mondays, we have no obligations.  It is the only day that we have to ourselves. 

Our schedule is crazy.

Tuesdays, I teach 2 dance classes (out of my home) then we have our bowling league.  (I'm a terrible bowler.  Highest handicap in the league. )

Wednesday, Mackenzie's swim lesson, and AWANA.  Mackenzie is a cubbie, I'm the Sparks director, and Kevin helps out with the Sparks also.

Thursday, 3 dance classes.  Thursdays is always a crockpot night. LOL 

Friday, Kindermusik and another swim lesson. 

Saturday, gymnastics.  And I'm thrilled that it doesn't involve my participation. Woo-hoo!

Sunday, church.  Now church is not normally considered an obligation. Except when they are desperate for help with the kids and I get "stuck" in the 3/4 yo room.  March is an obligation month this time.  The 3/4 yo class is not my cup of tea.  I don't mind any other age group except this one.

It's so weird because I taught pre-k in my college days and loved it.  Maybe it's just these particular 3 and 4 yo's.  LOL  Not many of them take direction well (or at all) and there's a great deal of  whining and being disrespectful.  And don't even ask about sharing.  It would seem they've never heard of it. LOL  Luckily, they're all really cute so you can't be too upset with them.

Although I was a tad upset with the pastor for running 30 minutes over on a day when they were particularly rowdy.    All of us workers were checking our watches wondering what was up. LOL 

Friday, March 10, 2006

Kindergarten with Mackenzie (flash back)

Here's some misc. school activities. 

Note that she's in her pj's quite often. LOL The official homeschool uniform.

Making a bubble bomb with daddy.

Late night studying...

How much air do your lungs hold

A lot more than that little bottle, let us tell you.

Examing parts of a flower

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Our School Supplies (flash back)

The spine of our school is Sonlight.

We both love to read, read, read and I knew that this was the only curriculum for us.  I also like their focus on a world view as opposed to more of a focus on the U.S.  (And I am a military wife and I love, love, love my country and will defend it with my last breath.)  But our country has only been around for a few hundred years, as opposed to the rest of the world.  It only makes more sense that you need to spend more time on the rest of the world.  I want her to have a heart for everyone, not just those around her.

Right now we're in SL's core K.  It is so much fun!!  So far there's only been one book that we didn't love but she got a lot out of it already.  We're way ahead of schedule when it comes to reading.  Technically we're in week 8, but in read alouds we're in the week 11 stuff.  Like I said, we love to read.  And she loves that Ergemiers Bible.  She drags that book around all day.  It melts a mommy's heart.

For LA, we use a few different things.  We're using SL's LA 1, not so much for the phonics, as she's an advanced reader. But more for the grammer and writing.  We did most of LA K, with core pre-k, but for some reason we both hated it.  We're liking LA 1 a lot better so I'm glad I gave SL LA another try.  She's really enjoying their readers, even though she is beyond them.  They are great for her fluency and it's so easy to add in more readers. 

For phonics we use Explode the Code and Headsprout Online phonics.  She's almost done with both levels of Headsprout.  It's a lot of fun and it's made a huge difference in her reading.  They introduce stuff in a totally different way than most phonics programs.  If you're intrigued, you can try the first 3 lessons free at www.headsprout.com .  

For math we're using Math-U-See and Singapore EB.  We're mostly focusing on MUS right now.  We love, love, love it.  I learned tons just watching the demo before I bought it. LOL  The way he introduces things like place value amazes me.  I can't believe how quickly she caught on to that.  She's really getting it and applying it. It's wonderful.  We love Mr. Demme.

She enjoys Singapore as well.  She's almost done with 2B.  Then I've got to decide if I want to continue doing 2 math programs or not.  I love MUS but it does have a very different scope and sequence then the "norm."  And if I ever move to a state that requires testing, that might be a problem. (And we never know where we're going to wind up. LOL) And you can't argue with Singapore's math program.  They do have the best math scores in the world.  They also have a great approach. 

We've also used Saxon K and couldn't stand it. It made us crazy!  More prep work then I wanted and she couldn't stand all the repetition.  "I already know patterns."  It was a great relief to ditch that one.  We still use all the manipulatives though.

For science, we're using SL K level.  I love that they send pretty much everything I'll ever need to more door.  Especially living here in Guam, where it's hard to find a lot of things.  And I don't like a lot of prep work.  If I have to go searching for supplies, we won't be doing the experiment. Sad but true. LOL   And the Discover and Do dvd that comes with the program is AMAZING.  She'd watch it all day long.  (And hey, if you didn't manage to get to the experiment, at least you've watched someone else do it. LOL)

We also do some critical thinking activities.  We've used Can You Find Me? , Visual Perceptual Skill Building, Building Thinking Skills, Mind Menders, Developing the Early Learner

I'll admit that the critical thinking stuff is the first to get thrown to the wayside when life gets hectic.  It's been a while since we've done any of it.  I think I need a kick in the pants.

I tend to neglect art a lot.  I hate the mess from crafts.  I've been managing to get in one artsy project a week so far.  And a good friend is going to be homeschooling her dd next year so we're going to do art together.  She's more creative and into crafts then I am.

For PE she does dance 2x week, swimming 2xweek, and gymnastics once.  Plus she owns a bike.

And we attend Kindermusik as our music lesson.  She's learning to read music and play a glockenspiel.  Very cool.  And I'm not musically inclined so it works our GREAT.

Sheesh, we do a lot.  How do we fit it all in? LOL

My Daughter (flash back)

What can I tell you about my Mackenzie?

She's an only child.  (And not for any lack of trying on our part.  Trying to have another child has become like a full-time job.  I suppose there are worse jobs. LOL)

She's newly 5. I hate that number.

Why must they grow up?

We think she's beautiful...

She loves knock knock jokes.  She'll make you crazy with them.

Her personality is...how shall I put it...Dramatic!!!!!!!  I believe a lot of people would define her as "spirited".  Maybe you've read that book.

She definately has a flair for the dramatic.  She's either really, really happy or really, really not.  If we lived near broadway, I'm sure she could get a job. ROFL

There's a slight chance her stubborness might come from me. Very slight though. LOL

She's also very, very loving.  She's more than happy to sit on your lap and receive lots of hugs and kisses and snuggles.  I hope that lasts for a while yet.  And she can say the sweetest thing sometimes.

She has  very big heart for our Lord.  I love that.   Her favorite book to read is one of her Bibles. Last March she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart. It was so sweet and of course I was bawling.  I'm not sure she really understands what a big decision that is, so we're holding off on baptism until she's old enough to understand.

She can be very sensitive.  She's easily embarassed and gets upset when she feels embarassed.  It'll break your heart.

Her favorite toys are books, barbies, dress up clothes, and babies.  She's all girl.

She keeps busy with dance classes, swimming lessons, kindermusik, awana, and gymnastics.  It's amazing that we ever have time for school. LOL

She's also pretty smart.  She pretty much taught herself to read with some help from the leapfrog people. 

Kevin insisted that we had her tested in reading, so we did.  She reads at a mid-3rd grade level, spells at a late first grade level, and comprehends at a 4th grade level.

I already knew how well she could read, so that part wasn't a surprise. The spelling suprised me.  I thought she'd be lower.  I'm not buying the comprehension level so much.  After all, I do spend all day everyday with her.  I think she got lucky with her guesses. LOL

We feel very blessed to have the priviledge of being her parents.  If she's the only one we ever have, we'll continue to praise God for giving us the best that he had.

Well I guess that's enough rambling for now. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...